From their website: You are invited to join us in observing Juneteenth also known as Freedom Day or Independence Day, is the oldest known celebration of the end of slavery in the United States.
More info below.
This day is now recognized as a holiday or day of observance in 45 states, including Washington. You are invited to join us in observing Juneteenth also known as Freedom Day or Independence Day, is the oldest known celebration of the end of slavery in the United States. This day is now recognized as a holiday or day of observance in 45 states, including Washington.
On June 19, 1865, over two years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, ending slavery. Major General Gordon Granger and several thousand Union soldiers arrived in Galveston,Texas where there were over 250,000 Black people still being enslaved. He announced that the Civil War had ended and in accordance with a federal order all slaves were free. Henry Louis Gates, Jr wrote, in a piece entitled What is Juneteenth, “The way it was explained to me,’ ” one heir to the tradition is quoted in Hayes Turner’s essay, ” ‘the 19th of June wasn’t the exact day the Negro was freed. But that’s the day they told them that they was free … And my daddy told me that they whooped and hollered and bored holes in trees with augers and stopped it up with [gun] powder and light and that would be their blast for the celebration.’ ”
While there was celebration and Black people were declaring their freedom, the Union Army, White slave owners, and White vigilantes denied former Black slaves their freedom by threatening, lynching, beating, and murdering Black freed people. Henry Louis Gates, Jr also wrote “Those who acted on the news did so at their peril.” As quoted in historian Leon Litwack’s book, Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery, former slave Susan Merritt recalled, ” ‘You could see lots of [Black people] hangin’ to trees in Sabine bottom right after freedom, ’cause they cotch ’em swimmin’ ‘cross Sabine River and shoot ’em.’ ' In one extreme case, according to Elizabeth Hayes Turner, [in her comprehensive essay, “Juneteenth: Emancipation and Memory,” in Lone Star Pasts: Memory and History in Texas], a former slave named Katie Darling continued working for her mistress another six years (She ” ‘whip me after the war jist like she did ‘fore,’ ” Darling said).
While they experienced horrendous acts of violence and racism, these atrocities did not stop Black people from ushering in their freedom. They stood up, fought back and built thriving communities. The Black community continues to be strong and resilient as shown through their commitment to live, speak out, challenge injustices, excel, and remain vigilant in the fight for true freedom and justice.
This Juneteenth, we will come together to honor and celebrate black identity, history, pride, achievements, and share ways we are speaking up and taking action to address systemic racism and anti-Blackness.
1st Annual Edmonds College Juneteenth Celebration
Friday, June 19, 2020
2:00 - 3:00pm
The Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83902412559
For more information on the history of Juneteenth and it’s modern day celebrations, see the Edmonds College library resource guide, What is Juneteenth?.
Co-sponsors: Equity & Inclusion, Student Services, and Finance Department
Yvonne L. Terrell-Powell, Ph.D., LMHC (she/her/hers)
Vice President for Equity and Inclusion
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